East India Youth – Culture of Volume (PMR)
Why you should listen: William Doyle’s second album as East India Youth slides between icy synths and grand-scale pop in a way that’s refreshingly unpretentious.
It might not be for you if… You want your pop glossy and bombastic and your Bowie-inspired synths cool as hell – but not for the two worlds to collide.
What we said: “For all that you’re never quite certain what Culture of Volume is going to do next, it never sounds ragged or incoherent,” wrote Alexis Petridis, in his lead review for the Guardian. Read Ben Thompson’s three-star review from the Observer here.
Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp (Wichita)
Why you should listen: Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield faces her anxieties and insecurities head-on, on this third album of skilfully written alt-rock.
It might not be for you if… You have no interest in an album that at points sounds like 90s Alanis Morissette fronting a Nirvana cover band.
What we said: “[Ivy Tripp] maintains a sense of sincerity throughout, letting [Crutchfield] purge her own thoughts while providing a sanctuary for her listeners,” wrote Harriet Gibsone, in the Guardian.
Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too (Big Dada)
Why you should listen: The Mercury prize-winning Scottish trio fuse elements of post-punk, hip-hop and pop to create a politically charged second album. One for fans of TV on the Radio’s raw-voiced cries and jagged guitar lines.
It might not be for you if… You believe Young Fathers are a touch over-hyped, and haven’t been onboard since you saw pictures of them looking stone-faced at the Mercury prize awards last year.
What we said: “They manage the rare feat of melding pop and politics into a potent mix,” wrote Lanre Bakare, in the Guardian.
Brian Wilson – No Pier Pressure (Virgin EMI/Capitol)
Why you should listen: Brian Wilson uses a series of featured artists, including Kacey Musgraves, three former Beach Boys and Zooey Deschanel’s twee-pop outfit She & Him, to explore misty-eyed nostalgia and his signature lush vocal harmonies.
It might not be for you if… You’re a Beach Boys devotee who’s never quite warmed to Wilson’s solo work.
What we said: “One terrible misstep aside … No Pier Pressure doesn’t bother trying to sound current, instead aiming to attract casual listeners with special guests, not all of whom complement Wilson,” wrote Michael Hann, in the Guardian. Paul Mardles also gave the album three stars, in his Observer review.
Drenge – Undertow (Infectious)
Why you should listen: Garage-rock sibling duo Drenge impressed both music critics and British MP Tom Watson with their debut, and sound as noisy and propulsive on this follow-up.
It might not be for you if… You don’t think you can take another cymbal-crashing, fretboard-melting duo: weren’t the Black Keys, White Stripes and Blood Red Shoes enough?
What we said: “Undertow is the sound of a band who’ve found their murky flow,” wrote Kate Hutchinson, in the Guardian. Click here for Phil Mongredien’s three-star review from the Observer.
This week also sees new releases from singer-songwriter Denai Moore and electronic producer Lapalux, among others. Which albums are you looking forward to hearing?